As part of our holiday season tea events, earlier this month we had the pleasure to host an Afternoon Tea combined with a tea blending class. Our guests all arrived to our bright and sunny Corner Room ready to create their own signature blend. We discussed why tea blends are created, both historically and currently, as we tasted and discussed our chosen base teas.
The base teas we played with were a classic Earl Grey, scented with bergamot oil, a full bodied and rich Chinese Keemun, a bright and aromatic Darjeeling and a Chinese Green tea, Chun Mee. We tasted each of these individually, then started to combine them in different proportions. Once everyone decided on their base tea, or base blend, it was time to start playing for real!
We had a variety of different dried fruits, spices, flower petals and more for scenting and flavoring our signature blends. Initial blends were all made one cup at a time so that the test blends could be tasted and tweaked as much as desired. When a success was reached, then it was time to formalize that tea with a recipe and a name. A new tea was born! After each perfect blend was named, local artist and photographer Julian Landa did a calligraphy label of the tea and then a quarter pound of the new creation could be blended, packed and sealed.
Many of our guests chose to bring home multiple bags of their signature blend when it occurred to them that a pouch of their own tea blend would make a wonderful holiday gift. Homemade gifts are always appreciated, and this was far more unique than a batch of holiday cookies and of course can be enjoyed for weeks to come. For our guests that chose to leave with their one quarter pound of tea, I hope they still have the opportunity to share their tea with their holiday guests, pot by pot. Here at L’Espalier we are always blending up something new and are featuring our Holiday Blend tea for this month only. Visit L’Espalier while it is still available!